Hi and welcome to my thesis on why Veteran Explorer is the best commander in PDH! I will do my best to write a miniature primer here, but this deck is still very new so feel free to suggest improvements. Any help would be much appreciated!

The first reason why Veteran Explorer is the best commander in PDH is because the deck is only running 27 lands. No, I'm not exaggerating, there are exactly 27 lands. This gives us an incredible number of available card slots, which means each card we draw is much more likely to be valuable to our gameplan when compared to our opponent's draws.

VE is a reliable source of repeatable land ramp for only one green mana, sitting right in the command zone. This comes at two costs: firstly, we also ramp our opponent's lands, and secondly VE needs to actually DIE (read, go to the graveyard) in order for his ability to trigger. This means we need to run a few cards which put him back into our hand from the graveyard.

A keepable hand for this deck only needs to include one land or Lotus Petal. From there you can cast VE and he will get the deck moving along smoothly without relying on drawing additional land cards. The deck also runs Land Grant to minimize the frequency of mulligans.

Of course, in order for the deck to do anything, VE needs to die. There are a few reasons and ways that this might happen: maybe our opponents are still naive to the sheer power of VE and haven't yet learned their lesson, or maybe a greedy player wants the mana ramp and (wrongly) feels as though they can outrace our value engine, or maybe our opponents are smart enough to leave VE alone for a while. The latter is the worst case scenario, as ideally we want VE to die before untapping on T2. If VE is still alive on T2, the correct play is to either swing into unfavourable blocks tempting an opponent to kill it, or if that doesn't work you can use one of the many "fight" effects in the deck like Prey Upon, Savage Swipe, Pounce, Unnatural Aggression or Epic Confrontation to have VE kill himself.

It will absolutely happen during some games where VE will just be stuck on the battlefield for the first 2-3 turns because our opponents wisely are keeping him alive. If this happens, you will almost certainly miss a land drop during this time, but don't panic! The deck is completely loaded to the brim with ramp effects and mana dorks to compensate for not being able to draw land cards consistently. Even if you fall behind by a land or two, as soon as the engine does get rolling and VE dies at least one time, the deck will catch up and quickly overtake our opponents in terms of resources.

C'mon reader, did you really need to expand this panel? Play Colossal Dreadmaw and friends, proceed to smash face with enormous flying, trampling Dino army. This deck is well known in my group for it's devastating T3 Colossal Dreadmaw potential.

Note that it's only really important for VE to die at least one time to achieve a dangerous boardstate. Reviving VE in order to re-use his ramp effect later in the game can wait until after presenting the threatening fatties, this becomes useful by deck thinning in order to increase the likelihood of topdecking additional fatties during the late game.

Playing this deck is easy, there are exactly three steps: ramp, attack, repeat.

Counterspells and removal into exile are our deck's worst enemy. That's why control players must always die first when piloting VE. Unfortunately there are not too many ways in Mono-G to protect ourselves against Force Spike and/or Oblivion Strike. Even if there were more options available, I feel as though including too many defensive cards would dilute the deck and reduce it's ability to quickly and consistently generate a board full of big beaters, this is a proactive deck and therefor utilizes a minimal number of reactive cards besides essentials like Nature's Claim.

The best way to play around this deck's weaknesses is to focus on killing one opponent at a time. Our win condition is combat damage, and spreading that damage around the board evenly only decreases our likelihood of winning a multiplayer game against 3 opponents. Some players will complain about you focusing them, but that's just the way it has to be if you want to win.

Most importantly, control players ALWAYS need to die first. No exceptions.

Thank you for coming to my TED talk. Please leave your thoughts below and make suggestions as to how you think I can improve the deck! Let's explore the possibilities together, HA.

Also, if somebody could kindly tell me why TappedOut is saying "this deck is not Pauper EDH legal", I'd appreciate that. As far as I can tell everything looks above board as is, the deck includes only commons besides the commander who is the only uncommon. Thanks!


Updates Add


Top Ranked
  • Achieved #79 position overall 11 months ago
  • Achieved #2 position in Pauper EDH 11 months ago
Date added 1 year
Last updated 11 months

This deck is not Pauper EDH legal.

Cards 100
Avg. CMC 3.11
Tokens 3/3 Golem, 4/4 Elemental, 1/1 Eldrazi Scion, 1/1 Saproling, Monarch
Folders Uncategorized, 2020, PDH unique decks
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Revision 3 See all

11 months ago)

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